Pardew calls on 'brilliant' fans

ALAN Pardew has again urged the Albion faithful to roar their team to victory in what promises to be an emotional afternoon at The Hawthorns.

The Baggies will bid their final farewells to Cyrille Regis ahead of the Premier League clash with Southampton on Saturday, bringing to a close a week of moving tributes to the man himself.

Pardew knows the fans will play, as always, an "important" role in galvanising the troops, hoping the blue-and-white army can be as "brilliant" as they were in the victory over Brighton last time out at The Hawthorns.

"We can say our own final 'goodbyes' to Cyrille and we'll do that. Our fans will do that in their own special way.

"The stadium's important to us - I believe we're sold out. That's mainly due to Cyrille, but also a little bit to do with some of the progress we've made on the pitch. The fans were absolutely brilliant in the last home game and helped us win so hopefully they can do that again."

But amidst the emotion - and celebration of Cyrille's life - lies the tension of a critical Premier League survival mission; Southampton the visitors at the weekend looking to deny the Baggies three precious points.

"Southampton have good players and are a fantastic club. I enjoyed my time there. We're going to have to be on our guard.

"They have a good new striker, Guido Carillo, who I know. He's a big lad, a handful. Our defenders have to be on their toes because - although Southampton haven't scored many goals of late - they're going to threaten a little bit more this weekend.

"We've made progression on the teams in the mid area but not on the teams around us. We've stayed roughly where we are - dropped a little bit in terms of Swansea's massive results against Liverpool and Arsenal."

And although other results mean Albion find themselves bottom of the top-flight pile, Pardew has identified the coming period as a chance to pick up wins and climb the table.

"In a way, even though we've gone to the bottom of the league, we've brought more teams into it. Now we play most of them. We're through a really difficult spell.

"After this game we play Chelsea away and then we really do have a run of games which is everything for us. If we can get something on Saturday and get something at Chelsea then we'll be really well set."

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